Fodor's Expert Review Château d'Amboise

Amboise Castle/Palace

The Château d'Amboise became a royal palace in the 15th and 16th centuries. Charles VII stayed here, as did the unfortunate Charles VIII, best remembered for banging his head on a low doorway lintel (you will be shown it) and dying as a result. The gigantic Tour des Minimes drops down the side of the cliff, enclosing a massive circular ramp designed to lead horses and carriages up the steep hillside, and later used as a prison, as affirmed by the fascinating period graffiti. François I, whose long nose appears in so many château paintings, based his court here, inviting Leonardo da Vinci to live in nearby Clos Lucé as his guest. The castle was also the stage for the Amboise Conspiracy, an ill-fated Protestant plot against François II; you're shown where the corpses of the conspirators dangled from the castle walls. Partly due to the fact that most interior furnishings have been lost, most halls here are haunted and forlorn, but armed with the 3D histopad provided for your visit,... READ MORE

The Château d'Amboise became a royal palace in the 15th and 16th centuries. Charles VII stayed here, as did the unfortunate Charles VIII, best remembered for banging his head on a low doorway lintel (you will be shown it) and dying as a result. The gigantic Tour des Minimes drops down the side of the cliff, enclosing a massive circular ramp designed to lead horses and carriages up the steep hillside, and later used as a prison, as affirmed by the fascinating period graffiti. François I, whose long nose appears in so many château paintings, based his court here, inviting Leonardo da Vinci to live in nearby Clos Lucé as his guest. The castle was also the stage for the Amboise Conspiracy, an ill-fated Protestant plot against François II; you're shown where the corpses of the conspirators dangled from the castle walls. Partly due to the fact that most interior furnishings have been lost, most halls here are haunted and forlorn, but armed with the 3D histopad provided for your visit, each room comes colorfully alive as it once was. The maze of underground passages are open to the public for guided visits (April–September). While exploring the grounds, don't miss the little chapel of St-Hubert; built in the 1490s, this Flamboyant Gothic gem is fronted by a glorious tympanum, adorned with carvings, and graced by a tomb that's said to contain the remains of da Vinci. In spring and summer, visitors are welcome to picnic in the lovely Italian-style gardens (or the on-site café) to enjoy stunning vistas of the Loire River and the charming village below. The chateau also hosts a regular program of garden concerts in the summer.

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Castle/Palace

Quick Facts

Amboise, Centre-Val de Loire  37530, France

02–47–57–00–98

www.chateau-amboise.com

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: €13.30

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